Summary: We can love like Him only by abiding in Him.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life.” (1 John 1:1) “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). We have an advocate with the Father. In other words, we have a district attorney; we have a defense lawyer so that when Satan comes and begins to make false accusations against us, we have someone who is going to take our place and represent us and that person is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. The court is set. God is the judge. Our case is now open. Satan makes his case, but Jesus stands up and says, “Father, I died for them.” And the Father says, “Case dismissed. That is it; it is done.” And that is the wonderful thing about being a Christian—we do sin, but by the grace of God, we are sinning less and coming to know Jesus Christ and what He has done.
It’s a great insight to know if we are or if we are not really a Christian. How would we know? I have had that question asked of me for over thirty–forty years. How do I know that I am really in fellowship with God? To clarify this, we need to make a distinction between having a relationship and having a fellowship. When you have a child, it is because of a sweet fellowship you had between you and your spouse. The intimacy between the two produced a child, and that we know is a wonderful thing. But things change and relationships change. All of a sudden one day, the child grows up and wants to take us on. He answers us with “no” as an answer. What do we say? We say, “Go to your room.” And so he goes to his room and cannot come out until he is willing to ask for forgiveness. Well, did he ever break the relationship with us? No. When we brought our children into the world, they are ours for the rest of our lives, like it or not. They could come back when they’re seventy-five years old and still ask us for money because we are the parents.
As far as fellowship, that is something completely different. When a child is bad, he goes to his room. Although we may have a relationship with our child, we may not be in fellowship with him at that moment. That may never happen until he repents. If he says, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to throw the rock through the neighbor’s house.” Our answer might be, “Great, let’s go take care of it.” And so, we walk over together and apologize. Now, he is back in fellowship and to reward him, I might ask, “Hey, you want to go to In n’ Out? ” And so now we’re out celebrating that the son has realized his mistake. That is fellowship.
Fellowship is coming to a place in our Christian walk when we know that we are right with God. When that happens, three things are evident: First: Obedience to God’s Word. “ Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.” (1 John 2:3-5) So the reason why we can say that this thing has taken root or that Christianity is really real is because for the first time in our lives, we are now being obedient to God’s will. We may not understand it, but we are going to be obedient. So if God says, “I want you to do this.” Our answer should be, “God, I would like to do this.” If I say that I walk with God, then I ought to walk like He did, in humility. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) That is what he is saying—that we would walk the way that God walked. “ Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning” (1 John 2:7) The old and new are exactly the same. The Old Testament is now becoming alive in the New Testament. “ Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” (1 John 2:8)